EU Official Calls Summit With China a ‘Dialogue of the Deaf’

Chinese leaders “did not want to talk about Ukraine” during Friday’s high-profile summit between the European Union and Beijing, the EU’s foreign policy chief said, describing the session as a “deaf dialogue.”

“China wanted to set aside our difference on Ukraine,” Josep Borrell told a plenary session of the European Parliament on Tuesday evening. “They didn’t want to talk about Ukraine. They didn’t want to talk about human rights and other issues, and instead focused on the positive things.”

“This was not exactly a dialogue, maybe a dialogue of the deaf … we could not talk about Ukraine a lot, and we did not agree on anything else,” Borrell, who accompanied European leaders in talks with China last week, said.

“The European side made clear that this compartmentalization is not feasible, not acceptable,” said Borrell.

He added, “For us the war in Ukraine is a defining moment for whether we live in a world governed by rules or by force.”

The two sides weren’t able to see eye to eye on on Ukraine, Borrell explained.

“Given China’s increasing assertiveness both at home and abroad, it’s clear that we don’t share the same political values,” he said.

Borrell said the Chinese side “stuck to their general statements of wishing to see peace,” but avoided “specific commitments or avoiding any sort of line on Russia.”

The remarks from the EU’s foreign policy chief conflict with Beijing’s line on how the summit played out.

A Chinese readout out of the summit read, “China and the EU share extensive common interests and a solid foundation for cooperation.”

“[Chinese leader Xi Jinping] called on the EU to form its own perception of China, adopt an independent China policy, and work with China to promote the steady and sustained growth of China–EU relations,” it said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a press briefing on Wednesday that the talks between the two sides were “very successful” and that Borrell’s remarks were “not based on facts.”

“What the EU should do is to follow through on the consensus and spirit of the meeting between Chinese and EU leaders to advance bilateral ties rather than making irresponsible remarks,” Zhao said.

China has refused to condemn Russia’s action in Ukraine or call it an invasion, and has repeatedly criticized what it calls illegal and unilateral Western sanctions.

The Chinese premier told EU leaders during the talks on April 1 that Beijing would push for peace in “its own way,” deflecting pressure for a tougher stance toward Russia.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times